State Minister for Islamic Affairs Sheikh Ahmed Shaheem Ali Saeed has said the ministry has received “many complaints” from people concerned about the upcoming Akon concert, which is to be held in the Maldives on 23 April.
”We have received many phone calls and complaints from people asking why we are doing nothing when a person who sings explicit lyrics is about to perform in the country,” Shaheem said.
”Our opinion is that we do not like explicit singers to perform in the country.”
He explained that scholars agreed that singing was allowed under the tenets of Islam, ”but with a good level of discipline.”
Akon is no stranger to religious controversy, after he was denied a visa to Sri Lanka by the country’s authorities because of a video clip in which he dances around a Buddha statue with scantily-clad women.
Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair said the government had no valid reason to reject Akon from performing in the Maldives.
Zuhair said if the Islamic ministry had any issues against it, “they can either send a letter or speak about it in the cabinet meeting.”
”It would be very unfair to say that Akon might do this or that before he actually does it,” Zuhair said.
He said a private company had spent a large amount of money investing in the performance in the Maldives, and that many Maldivian companies were also involved in the event.
Zuhair has previously stated that President Mohamed Nasheed is keen to attend the concert, which the government hopes will lead to further performances in the Maldives.
Event Manager in the Maldives for Akon concert Fathmath Raufa said the organisers were “fully confident” that nothing against the tenets of Islam would take place during the event.
”Our main purpose is to promote our country and to introduce entertainment tourism to the Maldives,” she said. ”This is like any other show held in Male’.”
She said there was no reason to stop this event, and noted that Akon and both his parents were Muslim.
Islamic NGO Jamiyathul Salaf did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.
From Akon’s song ‘Senegal’:
‘So what you know about how God comes first in our lives, everything that we do is for Allah
So what you know about that Holy place called Touba where Prophets were born
So what you know about comin’ here, gettin money and investing it back home.”
From Akon’s song ‘Bartender’:
” Don’t smoke, don’t drink, that’s why I don’t be by the bar, baby
Just lookin’ at you from a distance, lookin’ like a goddamn star, baby
So my girl don’t see me, T-Pain, can I get those keys to the car?
‘Bout to go and bang bang boogie with my cutie and I’ll see you tomar’.”